Ritually, ever year, the new Corporate Trainees ask the 'secret formula' question - rotfl !!! Secret to the top, they ask ?
'Ateambulo' ! I say that with aplomb. My answer should sound like some profound secret.
A while ago I read this engaging Ryan Holiday book “Ego is The Enemy”. Ryan explains - 'Ateambulo' in Roman history meant actually walking in front of a leader and clearing the path before he walks on it. People were actually appointed to do that.
Quintessentially, in spirit, ateambulo is deep & different. To be a leader someday, one will have to first learn to be a great follower. Learn to walk ahead to sanitise the leaders journey of unnecessary blocades which otherwise waste his time so that the leader smoothly reaches the point where his real task begins.
Ateambulo thus becomes street-smart & understands the process to negotiate the barricades that block the leader's way. He understands conspiracies & the classical 'Palace Intrigues'. Also hidden in this role are deep lessons in humility & Servant Leadership which go a long way in making him succeed as a humble future leader.
It is that magical success formula the Trainees should know. It is nowhere close to the glamourous short-cut they were seeking.
But my secret is real & sustainable.